I've said it before and I'll say it again: there are too many outbreaks, recalls, and invasive species to keep track of.

Between the spotted lanternfly, Trader Joe's recalls, and the brain-eating amoeba that could be lurking in Michigan's lakes, I'm not even sure where in The Mitten is safe anymore-- because it's certainly not your own back yard!

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Not only could the deadly and disease-ridden Asian longhorned tick be lurking out back, but so could cause this latest bacterial outbreak; if you keep chickens, that is. The Centers for Disease Control say backyard poultry like chickens are to blame for the most recent Salmonella outbreak that's sweeping across the country. Says the CDC,

Public health officials are investigating multistate outbreaks of Salmonella linked to contact with backyard poultry. Any backyard poultry can carry Salmonella germs that can make you sick. Always take steps to stay healthy around your flock.

According to health officials the outbreak is affecting residents across 47 states and has been linked to 141 hospitalizations; thankfully zero deaths have been reported. Check out this map of states most affected by the outbreak below:

via CDC.gov
via CDC.gov

As you can see Michigan is the state most affected by the outbreak at 49 reported cases. Ohio reported 30 cases, 31 in Illinois, and only 18 so far in Indiana. But could this all have been avoided?

What's Making Us Sick?

The CDC says backyard poultry like chicken and ducks can carry Salmonella germs even if they appear to be clean. "Backyard flock owners" can get sick from touching the poultry, or even anything in their environment, and then eating or touching their mouth therefore swallowing Salmonella germs.

To avoid getting sick owners should:

  • Wash your hands
  • Be safe around backyard flocks
  • Supervise children's interactions with flocks
  • Handle eggs safely

More information from the CDC can be found here.

Where to Find Fantastic U-Pick Sunflower Farms Across Michigan

When people think of "u-pick" farms, they tend to think of strawberries, blueberries cherries, and other fruits. But don't forget, there are pick-your-own flower farms across Michigan as well. We told you where you could find pick your own lavender farms at the start of the lavender season. Now, it's sunflower season! If you'd like to pick your own sunflowers, or at least take some Instagram-worthy pictures, here's where you can find some wonderful sunflower farms across Michigan.

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